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Closure of pedestrian lanes under way in Mitchells Plain to create safer neighbourhoods<span><p>Alderman Eddie Andrews, the City's Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, initiated this process in 2013 on request of the local community and in his capacity as the Chairperson of Subcouncil 12 at the time. </p><p>'To date, up to 57 lanes have been closed. We are busy with the closure of another 15 lanes now that we have concluded the statutory processes that require that we give the local residents an opportunity to comment on the proposed closures, including Council's approval. </p><p>'It has been a long process, and I want to thank the communities for their patience and cooperation. I trust these closures will help to improve the safety and security around these neighbourhoods as criminals and gangsters won't be able to use the lanes to hide, terrorise residents, and conduct their activities,' said Alderman Andrews.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:884px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis is funding the lane closures by making available R600 000 from the Mayoral fund, which will be available as from 1 July 2024, at the start of the new financial year. </p><p>'We have another 265 lane closures in the pipeline, these will be handled in a phased approach given that every closure requires a public participation process, Council approval, as well as the necessary funding to effect the closures themselves. Funding is crucial as it costs about R33 000 to close one pedestrian lane or alley,' said Alderman Andrews.</p><p>The Mayor and Alderman Andrews met with the community at the Lentegeur Community Centre last night to give them an update on the roll-out of the 15 approved lane closures.</p><p><strong>Background</strong></p><p>At the time when Mitchells Plain was developed, the town planners designed the neighbourhood with hundreds of alleys so that pedestrians could easily get from one area to the next. Unfortunately, due to high levels of crime and gangster activities, the residents abutting to these alleys responded to this threat by building high walls for personal safety and security reasons. As a consequence, being out of sight and with no lighting, these lanes have become an ideal space for criminal activities and easy escape routes.</p><p>Over time, the City has been receiving more and more requests for lane closures from neighbourhoods, and as a result, Alderman Andrews initiated this process in 2013.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:960px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><p><strong>Process for lane closures</strong></p><p>Requests for lane closures can be submitted to the local Subcouncil for consideration. </p><p>If supported, a public participation process will commence to allow residents to submit comments on the proposed closure, including comments from City departments that must indicate whether the affected lane has any underground services infrastructure such as water and sewer mains, and input is also required from the Urban Mobility Directorate in terms of the importance of the alley for pedestrian movement; and from the Safety and Security Directorate in terms of access in times of emergencies such as a fire.</p><p>The Subcouncil will consider the outcome of the public participation process, and the feedback from City departments, and make a recommendation to Council for the closure, which must be supported by the abutting property owners and majority of residents in the affected area.</p><p>Those residents whose properties are abutting the affected lanes must be willing to lease these from the City and incorporate it into their properties for gardening purposes, but are not allowed to build any structures on the land that formed part of the alley as this remains City-owned land. <br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:848px;" /> </figure>​​</span><p><strong>Way forward</strong></p><p>'I know this is time consuming, but we have to abide by the statutory processes. Given the urgency with the safety concerns, we are streamlining and expediting the processes as much as we can by tackling multiple closures at a time. Funding remains a challenge, meaning we can only implement a closure if there is money to do so. In this regard I want to mention that the local Subcouncils can also fund it from their financial allocations and should consider including these in their financial planning,' said Alderman Andrews.<br></p><p><br></p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p><p><br></p>2024-05-22T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#792a36fa-9d0a-4f24-9f63-98557db59729;L0|#0792a36fa-9d0a-4f24-9f63-98557db59729|Mitchells Plain;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#550cea01-5fec-45fb-8509-f49cfc36c0e0;L0|#0550cea01-5fec-45fb-8509-f49cfc36c0e0|Safety10

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